Raced for the Cure

64,000 participants
3.1 miles walked
$3.3 million dollars raised
And one of the best events I've ever attended.

Please check out this link to an awesome slideshow, made by the St. Louis Post Dispatch on STL Today.com. If you don't feel moved after watching it, there might be something wrong with you. Here are some stills from that same slideshow:

And now for my own personal pictures:) This is going to be a long post, so settle in for the long haul.

Me with Hannah and her mom, Ann, who has just completed 8 rounds of chemotherapy. She gets to wear the pink 'survivor' shirt to the race while the rest of us 'supporters' wore white shirts.
We walked down to the race from Hannah's place, because we knew parking would be a nightmare. Look at the glorious day we had downtown! And I'll never get enough Arch pictures, especially with sunshine like this.
With 60,000+ people you KNOW it was a great place for people watching. Look at this hot pink dog!
Look again. Someone seriously dyed their poodle pink in honor of breast cancer awareness. I think Henry would look fabulous in pink, don't you?
So here is part of our team Wilkie's Warriors. We donned the gray "Attitude is Everything" shirts for this occasion, even though I think Keri should have sported her pink survivor shirt. Do we look ready to walk?

I had to snap some pics of me and Lindsey even though we were sweaty beasts before 9 a.m. Oh how I missed St. Louis humidity!

And here I am with our girl! I think the pink bandanna is quite becoming, don't you?

We began the walk, which was pure chaos because of the sheer number of participants. Then all of a sudden we heard everyone gasp. They started taking pictures like this:
Why, you ask? When we came up over the hill this is what we saw. Click on the picture to get the full effect:
A sea of people all supporting the same cause. All touched by breast cancer. All fighting for the cure. It literally gave me goosebumps to see thousands of people united for a cause.

Here is Keri's little sister Lynsey, Keri, our friend from college Mike and his wife Emily. They came all the way from Dallas, Texas for the race!

You know you are in St. Louis when you walk by an Imo's pizza parlor!! Love this picture.

I couldn't help but get a little emotional as we walked by these types of signs. Many of them said, "In honor of" or "In memory of" with names, then birth dates to death dates. Pictures of loved ones carried on participants' backs. I know there were many smiling angels looking down on St. Louis this day.

There were even Harley biker dudes waving and cheering for us. They were so cute I had to snap another picture:)And some of the outfits were awesome. For instance, a pink hula skirt!

Then there was Lindsey's back sweat. I felt it was appropriate to include in this post, even if she gets mad at me. :)
As we rounded the corner we passed right by SLU---where we all went to college. Here we are on Compton avenue, one of the sketchier areas on campus, but you can still see College Church's steeple. It was only fitting to pose here, right?This one is way better, lots of pretty buildings in the background and a nice little pond. So THAT is where all of my college tuition went....to keep up SLU's gorgeous grounds!

Our two survivors, Ann and Keri, trading chemo stories. It was so special to see them meet and bond, I had to be the creep with the camera:)

This is my take on an artsy balloon shot with Keri and Michael underneath. Didn't turn out quite like I wanted but oh well.

After the race some of us headed out to Llywelyn's Pub in Webster to re-fuel our bellies. Can I just say that the grilled cheese is to die for? Seriously.

And the real pearl of the whole day? The fact that Kabance Photo was there to snap a 'Party Pic' at the finish line!
You only understand the irony once I explain that Kabance was the company hired to capture our college party life moments. They were at every date dash, Greek event, and I believe even graduation. We'd hop online after a night out to see what kind of debauchery presented itself in pictures. And now? Here they were capturing a grown up moment shared by college alums, standing a few feet from our university. Life is funny sometimes, isn't it?

I know this post is already really long, but I just want to share a few thoughts, so hang in there!

The weekend could not have been better. I got to spend quality time with amazing girlfriends, we had perfect sunny weather, I ran the 6 mile loop in Forest Park [my old stomping grounds!], enjoyed lots of yummy food, and I left feeling refreshed. Trips back to St. Louis always make me nostalgic and a little sad, but this time I can honestly say I only felt happiness. It was a special weekend, and I'm incredibly grateful that I was able to attend the Race for the Cure.

I know everyone has the same question: How is Keri doing?

Well, first of all she is the most adorable bald girl ever. Who knew that underneath all of that curly hair was a tiny little head? I mean it's TINY. And perfectly shaped, without any weird birthmarks or anything, so she pulls off the G.I. Jane look without missing a beat. Although I love her wigs and scarves, the bald head is my favorite. It just makes me want to rub it but I restrained myself from petting my friend. That would be a little odd, no?

She also seems more like herself now, compared to the last time I saw her [right after the first chemo]. Correct me if I'm wrong, Keri, but I think St. Louis makes her a happy girl. Lots of smiles, laughter, and a little more bounce in her step again. She's Keri again, not that she ever lost herself, but I'm hoping that the worst is behind her. I'm so excited to see what her bright future holds and I can't wait to share many more happy memories together.

We got to spill our guts during some classic girl talk sessions. Man, I missed those. They ended with laughing so hard we were crying and barely breathing. Even with Keri's dried out tears we managed to crack ourselves up, just like old times. There is nothing like divulging too much personal information to a best friend, over-analyzing boys and relationships, and reminiscing about the good old days.

So did anyone else attend the Race? I kept my eyes out for some familiar faces but didn't see any. I'd love to attend the Milwaukee Race but I'll be at a wedding in St. Louis that weekend. I highly recommend going to any and everyone affected by breast cancer in some way. You will not be disappointed.

And with that I am off to bed, with visions of pink shirts and smiling faces dancing in my head:)


  1. I was there this weekend and it was amazing. It was my 8th or 9th time at the race and it just get bigger and better every time! That view over the hill just blew my mind...truly incredible! I was going to write you when I got home...I swore that I saw Keri across the hundreds of thousands of people. I was going to ask you if she was wearing a gray shirt and now I see that she was. Maloney and I kept our eyes out for you but we didn't see you, but I guess I did see Keri. It is so great to hear how great she is...she really looks great. I kept thinking about her along the walk...the heat, warm water, that hill at the end. I am glad that she felt great...it truly was a beautiful day! Glad you had a good trip :)

  2. Glad to hear you had a great weekend in St. Louis! Your pictures of the race were amazing. I walked it a few years ago and would really like to go again. I thought it was impressive how many people there were then, and the race has grown so much since then! I donated this year, and will do the same next year if unable to make it. Hopefully a cure will be found - and soon!!

    I think next year, though, we might be on our delayed honeymoon. Hopefully, I will be able to make it the following year, then. My grandma survived breast cancer, as did FI's mom (twice!). Glad to hear that Keri is doing well!

  3. What a fantastic event, which was so well supported on a beautiful day!

    The pictures are very touching.

    I'm glad to hear Keri's doing well, if better!

  4. I'm so excited to see your pictures. I work in the Survivor Pavilion during the race, so I don't get to see the action. I thought about you guys all weekend. Keri looked FABULOUS!! Did you guys watch the Survivor procession? It was so incredible (made me cry). My mom is a survivor. She doesn't go down to the race, but she watches it on tv. :-) Also, a co-worker (who was very active with Komen) lost her battle with BC a couple of years ago. I think about her a lot when the race rolls around each year. I'm so glad you had a great trip and enjoyed your time with the girls.

  5. This is one of my favorite posts- even if it got me all choked up before work! I'm definitely participating in the next local Race for the Cure!

  6. I looked for you guys too! I knew you had cute tshirts but there were so many people I never saw you guys. It would've been really great to meet you and Keri. I can say for sure that I'll be back next year. It was so overwhelming.

  7. Those pictures are amazing. Wow. 64,000 people is crazy!!! How absolutely moving ... I'm happy to hear you had such an awesome weekend, and I'm so glad to hear Keri's doing well.

  8. Wow, what a great weekend! I am so glad that you were able to take part in the race for Keri! It's great to hear how well she is doing.

  9. What amazing pictures, thanks so much for sharing them! I can only imagine how it must feel to experience the masses of survivors and supporters in person. So glad to hear that Keri is doing fabulously!

  10. Julia, sounds like you had an amazing (and touching) day. Glad you got to spend more time with Keri and your buds. You're quite a special bunch!

  11. Amazing Julia. I loved this post. Those pictures were truly touching. My favorite was the crowd from the top of the hill - I got goosebumps seeing this on my computer screen. I can only imagine what is was like experiencing this first hand.

    I am, of course, so glad you got to spend some quality time with your friends and that Keri is doing well. She is blessed to have a group of amazing friends.

  12. I'm so glad to hear that you had a great time, and that Keri was able to participate!

    I did the race in 04 and 05. My BFF and I do the race together, but this year we couldn't because she had to work. HOPEFULLY we'll be there next year. It is definitely a TOUCHING event!

  13. First, thanks for posting that. Second, thanks for going. In all the wedding craziness, I completely forgot about it! I've registered (though never made it down town) for 3 years now.

    Looking at the pictures, and reading your post made me choke up a little. My aunt, and paternal grandmother are survivors. My maternal grandmother and her sister both died from it.

    So, I'm living the race vicariously through you and that was amazing.

  14. How awesome that you all come come together to support Keri and all others affected by breast cancer. I went a few years ago after a friend in my program died at 30. I wish I would have kept it up, but there's always next year.

    Keri looks great! I can just tell from the pictures that you guys had a great weekend.

    PS-I love that "cancer sucks" website, and have even bought "cancer sucks" socks for my mom and me.

  15. J-

    Amazing...that is all I can say! I am so glad we were able to be a part of such a special occasion. Loved the post (of course I love them all!) I was so happy to be able to catch up and have some "us" time. Tears, laughter, food, and all. It was a great time! Miss you already.

  16. i love those pics. i wish i could have gone this year.....its good to hear that Keri is doing better. those first few rounds of chemo are the roughest from what i hear. it's an amazing experience....and im glad to see the numbers continue to get higher and higher each year!


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